• Guests:
  • Topics:
    • Why are conservatives trying to destroy the future of America by making education available only to rich, stupid children?
    • Obama makes his speech on Afghanistan tonight.
    • Why don't we return to the religion of the founding fathers and save the planet in the process?
    • Why do you want to promote paganism? (do you have a Christmas tree? Santa/elves/reindeer & mushrooms story)
    • Why are you trying to evangelize atheism? ("no god, no problem!" holiday campaign)
  • Bumper Music:
  • Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
  • Quote: "...the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." -- Alex Carey, Australian social scientist.
  • Article: Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public by Alice Schroeder.

    "“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

    I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.

    While we wait, Goldman has wrapped itself in the flag of Warren Buffett, with whom it will jointly donate $500 million, part of an effort to burnish its image -- and gain new Goldman clients. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein also reversed himself after having previously called Goldman’s greed “God’s work” and apologized earlier this month for having participated in things that were “clearly wrong.”

    Has it really come to this? Imagine what emotions must be billowing through the halls of Goldman Sachs to provoke the firm into an apology. Talk that Goldman bankers might have armed themselves in self-defense would sound ludicrous, were it not so apt a metaphor for the way that the most successful people on Wall Street have become a target for public rage."

  • Article: Obama's Afghanistan Plan: 30,000 Troops, Marines To Be First Wave (AP).

    "President Barack Obama plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan over six months, an accelerated timetable – with an endgame built in – that would have the first Marines there as early as Christmas, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.

    With the full complement of new troops expected to be in Afghanistan by next summer, the heightened pace of Obama's military deployment in the 8-year-old war appears to mimic the 2007 troop surge in Iraq, a 20,000-strong force addition under former President George W. Bush. Similar in strategy to that mission, Obama's Afghan surge aims to reverse gains by Taliban insurgents and to secure population centers in the volatile south and east parts of the country.

    In a prime-time speech to the nation Tuesday night from West Point that ends a 92-day review, Obama will seek to help sell his much bigger, costlier war plan by tying the escalation to an exit strategy, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity."

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